Consumers Association of Penang

Giving voice to the little people...since 1970

Utilitarian Free Trade killed millions in China and India

According to a briefing paper by a UK advocacy group, nearly 50 million people in India and China died at the end of the 19th century as a result of these countries being forcibly incorporated into the economic and political structures of the modern world system of that era.

The sorry state of Orang Asli health

The recent disclosures made by Dr. Selva Vathany Pillai concerning malpractice and the misappropriation of resources by hospital authorities at the Gombak Hospital, brings into stark focus, the social and health status of this community.

The Orang Asli, (aboriginal peoples), who are the most marginalised community in the country continue to suffer the loss of their lands through resettlement, logging, mining, dam construction, golf course development, plantation schemes, regroupment and assimilation into mainstream society.

Development is a form of theft

Conventional development, under which the rich take from Third World people most of the value produced by their labour, land and capital, is a subtle and little-recognised form of theft.

Corporate protectionism threatens people

While the anti-democratic nature of the centralised nation state is undesirable, the emergence of corporate protectionism under globalisation is the real threat to democratic rights and economic livelihoods, says the writer. Countering this recolonisation requires the reinvention of national sovereignty by democratic processes, to create national systems which act in partnership with local communities to protect their natural wealth, livelihoods and cultural and intellectual heritage.

Defining poverty

A life with zero income does not have to be degrading, if people can provide all their own needs for themselves. On the other hand, an income of $25,000 may be called poverty when all needs must be bought in, and such a sum is insufficient for the purpose.